Tips for Shopping Safely

Package dates aren't the only way to keep your food fresh and safe. Here are some other tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Services.

  1. Read the label.

  2. Check package labels for safehandling instructions, which usually appear on raw meats and eggs, as well as sell-by, use-by and expiration dates.

  3. Inspect the packaging.

  4. Avoid packages with holes, tears, leaks or broken seals. Make sure that refrigerated foods feel cold, that frozen foods are frozen solid (with no signs of thawing and refreezing) and that canned foods are without dents, bulges, rust or leaks   

  5. Bag meat, poultry and seafood.

  6. Put meat, poultry and seafood in a plastic bag to prevent juices from dripping on and cross-contaminating other food in your shopping cart and grocery bags.

  7. Pick up cold food last.

  8. Shop the refrigerated, frozen and deli sections last to help keep food cold until you get it into your refrigerator or freezer.

  9. Take the groceries home.

  10. Avoid making additional stops on your way home from the supermarket. On a warm day you might bring an insulated container in the car to keep food cold until it gets home.